The Forbidden Trail (Chapter 4, page 1 of 24)

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Chapter 4

Felicia soon grew weary of the game of fire building and begged off. Roger, with the aid of the ax, gathered a huge pile of grease wood, then with Felicia beside him, wrapped in a blanket, he sat down before the fire to wait.

The child, her deep eyes glowing like black rubies in the flickering light, the lovely curves of her mouth drooping, leaned against Roger's shoulder, for a little while, then she turned and looked up into his face for a long minute. Roger returned the look, a little wonderingly. Felicia's attractiveness still puzzled him.

"I love you very much," she said, "more than I do Ernest."

Roger smiled down at her. "But you must love our old Ernest too, even if he has deserted us."

"Oh, I do love him, but it's you I think about, last thing at night!"

Felicia gazed up at Roger with a look of such mysterious depth that he caught his breath. Felicia suddenly shivered.

"The desert's awful big! Oh, why do you suppose Charley didn't meet me? I want Charley," with a sob.

Roger jumped to his feet and brought another blanket from the wagon. He spread it before the fire and urged Felicia to lie down on it. This she was persuaded to do only after Roger loaned his lap for a pillow and she finally fell asleep, her head on his knee, his hand clasped against her cheek.

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